The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, won the Emmy Award last night for Best Dramatic Series. Along with that award the series also picked up Emmys for Best Drama, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Directing, and Best Guest Actress. This is a huge win for Hulu as well as for celebrated Canadian author Margaret Atwood but it also represents the first time (and please correct me if I am wrong) that a science fiction series has won an Emmy for Best Drama.
Despite the fact that Atwood has tried to distance her work from being labelled as science fiction, there is no doubt that the dystopian future represented in the book and in the show has its roots firmly entwined in the genre and last night’s win was an acknowledgement that the SF genre speaks to its readers and viewers in ways that are worthy of award. Does this mean that science fiction has hit the mainstream? Does this mean an end to literary intellectuals dismissing the genre as being little more than “talking squids in space” as Atwood herself once characterized our genre?
I very much doubt it. Literary writers and critics will still do their best with torturous logic to try to insist that work of quality cannot possibly be denigrated as “mere” science fiction, that it has to be considered as something better.
Whatever. We know the truth.
Another big win went to Netflix’s Black Mirror. The anthology series, which is undeniably science fiction, is the brainchild of British writer Charlie Brooker and his series’ third season episode “San Junipero” won for Best Television Movie, and for Best Writing in a Limited Series.